Hello again everyone! I’m back, after a few month hiatus. I can’t just make people let me build them computers, ya know!? This time around we went plain and simple on the outside, with lots of power on the inside. The user had a few requests and I was more than happy to abide to them. The budget for this was fairly flexible to accommodate for a few wants. This is purely a gaming oriented build.
Goals for this build:
- Have that sleeper look in the FT02
- Neutral colored internals
- Room for a second 980, memory, and HDDs
Since this is a gaming build I went with the i5 4690K. I did a small amount of initial overclocks to see what I could get. I had it running nicely at 4.2 GHz, but wanted to leave overclocking up to the new user. So I set it back to stock before shipping it out. Performance is what you would expect; awesome!
- CPU COOLER
I had wanted to use one of these Silverstone TD03 AIOs for quite some time. When the new user sparked interest in liquid cooling and the Silverstone chassis, I thought it would be the perfect time to use one. I also prefer liquid cooling over heavy towers when shipping cases. With the extra thick rad, completely welded water block, elegantly plain styling, and straight forward mounting system, it only made sense. The case worked nicely with the thick rad and fit into place without problem.
I just used this board in my last build and felt good going with it a second time. It has that neutral color that he wanted and the Z97 chipset for SLI and overclocking capabilities. No issues with software this time around using Windows 8.1. Asus has been killing Gigabyte simply based on included software. Three words, Asus Suite 3.
I’ve used ADATA a few times before and felt safe choosing them again. This is nothing special, but it gets the job done and looks good doing it. He liked the idea of being able to upgrade to 16 GB easily.
He did not need a ton of storage. So I decided upon a larger SSD. The Samsung 840 EVO 500 GB made the cut. He wanted to be able to install 10-20 games as well as all of his important programs. With all the extra bays on the hot swap he can easily add HDDs later on.
This, in my opinion, is the highlight of the build. The clean black styling makes the EVGA GTX 980 a sight for sore eyes. The fans don’t spin until the temps reach 60C, though you can adjust that if you see fit. Temps maxed out at about 71C during Unigine Valley testing, with the fans barely trying. I have never used EVGA Precision X before so I didn’t do any overclocking. He plans to get a second 980 and run either 4K or surround for a racing simulation setup. I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked so the benchmarks are a little sparse due to Thanksgiving festivities.
This case is heavy as explicative. When setting this on the scale at UPS the lady gave me a, “Are you serious?” look. Without the GPU, I remove those for shipping safety, it weighed around 52 lbs. It weighs a lot because it’s mostly heavy steel and is covered in sound dampening foam. Building in it was fairly pleasant, with proper routing holes, and fairly spacious internals. I do wish there could be some more space behind the motherboard tray, as well as more cable tie down points. The back panel was a tad bit tight, but I made it look good. The triple 180mm fans with fan control toggles create great positive airflow from bottom to top. With all the fans set to low the sound is a quiet hum. The furthest right HDD bay is hot swappable making for an easy addition of mass storage.
I had never used an EVGA PSU. I had heard many good things about them and this one came with very high ratings across many review sites. With full modularity, totally black cables, plenty of wattage for future upgrades, and ECO fan, this unit was not a hard sell. The ECO setting lets the PSU warm up before turning the fan on, keeping it completely silent.
He requested the BluRay drive for his movie collection. I chose this one because it was on sale, also burned BluRay, and is completely flat black. He also wanted wireless capability in case he changed his mind on what room he wanted his system in. Windows 8.1 is and has been my choice for any new PCs for quite some time. This is nearly 2015, not 2009. End rant.
This was the most expensive system I’ve ever built. It was really cool to get my hands on the GTX 980 and all that is the FT02. This was also the first time I built a PC in front of a small crowd via Twitch.TV. I had a lot of fun with this build and I think the new user is going to get a lot of rock solid gaming out of it for a long, long time.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Post them below, in a PM, or on my Facebook page. I’m never far away from a computer and always respond!
BENCHMARKS: using latest driver
Tests ran at clocks posted above. Settings were set to the maximum settings (1080P) unless noted differently. I test only tasking segments: firefights, lots of units on screen, explosions etc.
3DMark Firestrike is apparently having problems with the 970/980. I consistently scored low in only that test
- 67.9 - 2840 Score
- 65.5 - 1651 Score
Hope you enjoy!